Bullet points of Microsoft Goodies

HTML 5

  • It is supposed to be the One True Platform that unifies the web and the mobile. Microsoft absolutely wants a One True Platform, yes -- but one that they can control. So recent Microsoft support regarding HTML 5 must be regarded critically. For example, excellent hardware-accelerated graphics support in IE might be an attempt to lock implementations to work best on IE only. Then when people notice, Microsoft will start offering IE-specific APIs to access hardware... which is all over the same tactics they used to drive Netscape to extinction last time.
  • Standards (de-jure usage) come after real world implementations are used (de-facto usage) in tech sectors like this. So I'm not surprised to see the various workarounds we can use right now to enjoy all the HTML 5 goodies. Two specific workarounds that were mentioned are ExtJS and modernizr.

Windows Phone 7 and beyond

  • Security were cited as a reason why Windows 7 phones cannot be used as a regular storage like your thumb drive. Microsoft being Microsoft, I can guess that deep in their minds they want to make it as hard as possible for users to take their data off the phone (or, the cloud that belongs to Microsoft).
  • Windows 7 phone UI is absolutely gorgeous. I poked around my friend's phone and it was a really wonderful experience! One thing my friend noted last time was that the app prices were still relatively high, obviously because the market is still very young. This is also an opportunity for developers as the market is still very unsaturated!
  • Mango is even more gorgeous than the current UI! However as pointed out by various people Microsoft came in a tad bit earlier to the market compared to Apple and Google. They can learn from all the mistakes the other players had done, so unless they are royally stupid they are bound to have a better product in the end.

The cloud is Azure-coloured

  • Azure is on the whole different level when compared to Amazon Web Services (level as in low-level language vs. high-level language, not quality). Basically Amazon just gives you root access to as many machines that you want in the cloud, while Azure is a hosting plus deployment platform with cloud as a backend.
  • Because Azure is a deployment platform, you cannot not deploy in Azure because, duh, that's your only deployment method available. By contrast if you use AWS, you can use any deployment strategies that you want (e.g. rsync, remote build, FTP upload) and in the case where Amazon catches fire or the U.S. President declares war on your hometown, you can deploy your web application elsewhere. (This U.S. thing is actually quite important. Apparently US companies cannot really trade, or have heavy restrictions while trading, with the so-called "Axis of Evil according to the U.S.", e.g. Burma, Iran, North Korea.)

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